In In re Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, MDL No.2599 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 1, 2016), the parties disagreed about the appropriate protocol to govern redactions of responsive electronically stored documents and the withholding of irrelevant “parent” documents from responsive document families. A court-appointed special master recommended permitting the defendant to withhold irrelevant parent documents and to redact seven categories of information deemed irrelevant. Plaintiffs argued that the recommended procedure could allow redaction of relevant information, would impair discovery efforts, and would lead to unnecessary litigation over the redactions. The district court largely affirmed the special master’s suggested protocol, relying on Chief Justice Robert’s comments in his 2015 year-end report that the recent amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “crystalize the concept of reasonable limits on discovery through increased reliance on the common-sense concept of proportionality.” The court found, under revised Rule 26, that “a party is not entitled to receive every piece of relevant information. It is only logical, then that a party is similarly not entitled to receive every piece of irrelevant information in responsive documents if the producing party has a persuasive reason for why such information should be withheld.” The court also held that defendant could withhold irrelevant parent documents in full, reasoning that “it would make little difference if the producing party provides a fully redacted document or does not provide the document at all.”
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Redaction Of Irrelevant Info/Withholding Of Irrelevant Parent Documents Permitted
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